Alan Friend and Robin Smalley scored a convincing 16 second win in their Nissan Silvia at yesterday’s action-packed Rally Bonnie Doon held in North Eastern Victoria.

The Nissan driver, back in the sport after a long break, proved too good for the 60-strong field, beating home Simon and Ian Ellis (Subaru Legacy) and Ross O’Reilly/Tim McGill in a Nissan Bluebird, for a top-of-podium finish.

Rally Bonnie Doon, hosted by the North Eastern Car Club under Clerk of Course, Scott Spedding, was the first round of the 2010 Victorian Clubman Rally Series.

The ever-popular rally attracted a potential field of 95 crews, just 60 of whom were eligible to start because of the field limitation.

Run in the hardwood forests of Strathbogie and Bonnie Doon, the 200km course produced some ideal rally roads designed to bring out the best in drivers, however these were interspersed with some recent rain-affected tracks which tended to level the playing field. As a result, 15 crews failed to finish the event, however there were no serious incidents.

While Friend and Smalley were never quickest on stage, they managed to be consistent enough to snare first place after a number of more highly fancied crews fell by the wayside.

Had the event been one stage longer, O’Reilly and Gill may well have inherited second place, finishing a mere two seconds in arrears of the Ellis team. Just four of the first 10 cars were 4WD’s.

Dry and slightly dusty conditions prevailed on the day, evening out the disparity between the 4WD turbo cars and the more powerful rear wheel drive machines.

Provisional Results:
1.    Alan Friend/Robin Smalley        Nissan Silvia     59m21s
2.    Simon Ellis/Ian Ellis            Subaru Legacy    59.37
3.    Ross O’Reilly/Tim McGill        Nissan Bluebird    59.39
4.    Nathan Berry/Dane Berry        Mitsubshi Lancer    60.46
5.    Daniel Fynch/Wayne Webb    Mazda 323GTX    61.27
6.    Simon Boyer/Simon Thompson    Datsun 1600        61.38
7.    Sean Hudgson/Darren Wythe    Datsun 1600        62.02
8.     Alan Wilson/Kevin Wilson        Subaru Impreza    62.20
9.    Rowan Woollard/Russell Woolard     Datsun Bluebird    62.30
10.    Mark Richards/Steph Richards    Ford Escort Mk2    62.37

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